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    How I nearly died, then became a health coach and opened a cafe in Chelsea

    How I nearly died, then became a health coach and opened a cafe in Chelsea

    I discovered raw food not because I had a plethora of illnesses and this was my last resort. There was nothing wrong with me…


    I was fit, my body was in top shape, I never had to worry about what I ate, my parents were knowledgeable in alternative therapies, I had an awesome job in property, I was young, popular, invincible – I was healthy.


    Or so I thought.


    Looking back at my life now, I can only picture a young girl living in complete denial.


    I often ate a tub of ice cream or an entire block of chocolate instead of lunch and dinner, because I figured I should choose one to avoid overeating.


    I partied ‘til dawn in clouds of second-hand smoke and thought of it as the best form of exercise.


    I thought sleep was overrated.


    My whole back was covered in repulsive acne, but who cares because I couldn’t see behind me and at the beach, it was easy to just sunbathe lying on it.


    I would often get knife-piercing pain in my stomach, but I was the best long-distance runner I knew, so it didn’t matter.


    I didn’t like my own reflection, but I could always grin or pull faces in photos to disguise what I thought was too round a face and too big a nose.

    Tanya Maher and sister Alissa Alekseeva


    I would be bedridden whenever the seasons changed, but so was everyone else, so there is nothing wrong.


    I even thought that a reflexologist who told me to change my diet immediately to save myself from emerging diabetes was mad because, surely, diabetes was only for people who were overweight?


    And while others would turn to binging when it came to work- or relationship-related stress, I considered myself lucky for losing interest in eating when I was stressed, because I starved and got slimmer.


    It took me a long time to unlearn these stories I’d been telling myself. It took me even longer to realise how well I’d mastered blocking out what needed attention, because of how well I’d blocked out one particular major event in my life…


    The year 1999 was one to remember.


    I survived my second year as a teenager, my second year in high school was almost over, my Russian accent had begun to sound more Kiwi (believe me, a foreign accent is a big deal when you’re an immigrant at school) and, for the first time, I was allowed to go away with my best friend for our joint birthday celebrations.


    It was a rainy day, the road was long and winding, but it didn’t matter because I was with my bestie, we had lollies, hip-hop music to sing along to and the whole back of the car to ourselves.


    Nothing was going to stop us from laughing and dancing, not even a safety belt that straps you tightly to your seat. We both pulled our seatbelts over our shoulders and under our arms, so we were secured only around our waists.


    The next thing I remember is seeing a four-wheel drive head on, an unimaginable strike of sharp pain in my abdomen, followed by our car quickly filling with smoke and the struggle to open a jammed door, because I couldn’t possibly stay in a car that might blow up like in the movies.


    I still have no idea whether it was five minutes or five hours between the car accident and being rushed to Auckland City Hospital by helicopters, although I do remember how fast the emergency crew chopped open my favourite checked blue trousers.


    And amidst the uncontrollable pain through my stomach to my back, the haunting repetition of ambulance crew voices shouting something about a fractured spine, I still managed to wish that I was wearing better underwear.


    Everyone in both vehicles survived the crash, but no one walked away injury free…


    I broke my back and had to wear a full-body brace for four months. I still have a metal plate and screws joining my lower spine. My stomach was so badly bruised and swollen from the seatbelt (which also saved my life) that doctors proposed to remove my pancreas.


    To make this hospital stay even more memorable, a catheter burst inside me, spreading an infection through my bladder, all while I was being pumped with an intense dose of morphine, to which my body reacted with intense hives.


    My mum and dad went through so much stress and my entire focus turned to recovery, just to see these two favourite faces laughing again.


    I tried hard to be a good girl and eat the mashed potatoes, ice cream and jelly they provided as hospital food, but my body would not keep them in. I remember being so angry at it for spewing up anything that went in.


    My weight declined, as did all interest in food, until I couldn’t tolerate the thought of it.


    Meanwhile, doctors were still waiting on my parents’ decision on whether or not to remove my pancreas.


    Knowing that it was a key gland for proper digestion and hormone regulation, my wise family were determined to keep it intact.


    We wanted to learn how to help my body to heal, but no one even knew about Google then, and raw food books certainly weren’t known of in the library, so we did what came naturally in the moment of despair- we used intuition.


    Mum and dad asked me to imagine different foods and name those that didn’t immediately make me feel nauseous.


    There were so many foods I craved, I was literally starving, but the only ones I could entertain of actually keeping in were peppermint tea, high-factor manuka honey and liquidised vegetables.


    How clever our bodies are. Even in the most vulnerable state they know exactly what they need to survive.


    I know now that my body, being so inflamed and sensitive, asked specifically for peppermint tea for its soothing properties, manuka honey for its antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal protection from hospital bugs, and raw carrot juice for its antioxidants, nutrients and enzymes, to support my healing pancreas.


    My body knew that raw foods have the power to heal, it knew exactly which foods had the right nutrition for this healing and it was because of raw foods that I got to keep my pancreas – although I didn’t even realise it at the time.


    Fast forward 10 years and it was, again, mum and dad who inspired me to tap onto that intuition and discover a calling within me so deep, it would bring positive meaning to all unfortunate past events. They read raw food expert Victoria Boutenko’s books and literally changed their entire diet overnight.

    Alekseeva family


    They got rid of the microwave, espresso machine and all the food in their pantry. They filled clear kitchen benches with alien equipment, the refrigerator with so much colour it looked like a kaleidoscope, and started dehydrating flax crackers as if they were stocking up for 21 December 2012.


    It was awesome to see them so enthusiastic about a diet, but it’s not like I was about to start doing the same. After all, as you’ve heard, there was nothing ‘wrong’ with me.


    It was also around this time that my husband, Elliot, and I started dating, and I was more interested in showing off my cooking repertoire than rolling energy balls.


    But my curiosity was already ignited.


    I watched my parents shed weight, start to look younger, glow from within, sleep less and do more exciting things with their days, all with an enormous amount of energy and enthusiasm. I had to get my hands on that book!


    It was when I read ‘Green for Life’ and the collection of testimonials from people who had reversed all manner of illnesses (from diabetes, heart conditions, obesity, asthma, chronic fatigue and cancer) with raw food that I made an important connection – that I had also healed my body, all those years ago, with raw food.

    Tanya's cold press juice and almond milkshakes



    It occurred to me that if we can heal disease with raw food, surely we can prevent it too. Now we’re talking!


    What I read in Boutenko’s book made sense – as soon as you apply heat to foods, they shrivel up, vitamins and minerals diminish, antioxidants and proteins are halved and enzymes vital for digestion die entirely. Our bodies then spend all their efforts on digesting the mineral-depleted foods and leave us with little energy for anything else.


    What didn’t make sense is why so few people knew about the raw power of plants.


    And in this I found my calling.


    I immediately began making green smoothies for our breakfast. I loved to cook and experiment with foods, so was in no hurry to change our meals, but my taste buds began to long for more greens throughout the day.


    Without even thinking about it, I reached for a salad instead of a sandwich at lunchtime and filled half our dinner plates with fresh raw vegetables.


    I thought I had really lost it the day I salivated over spinach at a supermarket and came home without commercial chocolate.


    I was loving the new flavours our fresh diet had to offer, as well as all the benefits I detected- increased energy, focus and intuition, glowing skin and sparkling eyes, healing acne, and strong hair and nails. Most of all, I loved how much fun I was having in the kitchen.


    With so much attention paid to feeling awesome, it wasn’t until later that I realised how my painful stomach cramps never returned, my headaches had diminished, my teeth stopped getting cavities, and how flu and colds became a thing of the past.


    I knew I couldn’t keep all of this to myself, so as soon as we moved to London, I went knocking on yoga centre and restaurant doors offering to run lunchtime classes, got kitted up with equipment, started blogging recipes, selling green smoothies and raw chocolate at market stalls, joined raw food networking groups and attended any health-related workshop I could find.


    I began coaching clients. This allowed me to witness the countless benefits of raw foods among athletes, expectant mothers, young professionals and the newly retired.

    Novak Djokovic and Tanya Maher at Tanya's


    Yet, I wanted to go deeper.


    My intention was never to transform the world’s diet to eating all raw, I simply wanted to raise awareness of the benefit of eating plants and my mission became helping people to experience the incredible vitality I was thriving with.


    I really wanted for everyone to feel in control of their own energy and health again.


    I really really wanted to help others tap into that time of youth when they felt invincible, free and full of joy. I wanted them to know how possible it is to feel like that all the time!


    I longed for people to break free from the hypnosis that the traditional medicine, dairy industry and government bodies put us under.


    I dreamed of a world where people didn’t have to suffer and where they believed that vibrant health was their birth-right.


    So badly I wished for people to feel ALIVE again.


    I knew that all of this was pretty BIG and that I couldn’t do it on my own. The thing is I didn’t know where to begin either. So, I did what I knew works - I sat my butt down on a meditation cushion and literally asked to be shown the way.


    What happened right after- changed everything.

    Tanya's Ecuador Retreat


    I opened myself up for possibilities and asked for a clear sign. By the time I heard of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition from three different people in the week right after my meditation, I knew it was the sign I couldn’t ignore.


    I was still paying off my student loan for the Bachelor of Property so wasn’t into the idea of getting into more debt. But, all signs pointed towards going for it, so I borrowed from my parents and enrolled on the year-long journey of online education.


    I thought I was just signing up to qualify as a Holistic Health Coach and be a better counsellor to my current clients, so they can experience everything I dreamed up for them, but I got so much more.


    The same year that I was getting my mind blown from all the powerful realisations and my neck muscles exercised from all the nodding, while listening to lectures on my iPhone, was the year some pretty wonderful things were happening in the background..


    I remained open for miracles and then after five years together, Elliot proposed.


    I remained open for miracles and met with my dream publisher, who would later publish my book.


    I remained open for miracles and began coaching a dream client, with whom I would soon open my café.


    I remained open for miracles and became IIN’s chosen ambassador, which meant that I had the power to offer my readers some amazing discounts to this life-changing course, getting more and more people to spread the ripple effect.


    Suddenly my big dream didn’t seem so far-fetched.

    Tanya Maher's The Uncook Book Launch


    The thing is- I didn’t have to work hard to ‘remain open’. The beauty of the program is that on top of teaching you how to be the best coach to your clients and especially to yourself, it teaches you about nutrition, bio-individuality and how some diets work for some and why not for others, but more importantly, it teaches you how to manifest.


    The entire course is designed to help you be the healthiest person you know and to live your very best life. Guiding you to remain open for miracles and manifest dreams into reality is very much on the agenda!


    So, if you even for a second thought that this course might-be-just-ever-so-slightly-a-tiny-bit interesting, I invite you to do the following:


    1. Register your name and email below or here so I can forward you a FREE sample class and a FREE copy of my eBook ‘One Day Raw- a Beginner’s Guide to Living Foods’.
    2. Add 2PM EST / 7PM GMT Friday 20thApril to your calendar and watch me LIVE as I visit the IIN offices in New York! (I’ll send you a direct link to this FB Live on the day)
    3. Remain open for miracles.

    Tanya and Lake at Tanya's


    And, if you feel this is YOUR sign to do the course and you are ready to register for the next class beginning 7th MAY, then here’s what you’ll get as a BONUS for registering:


    1. A 25% discount or an interest-free payment plan.
    2. A FREE copy of my eBook ‘Purified-Your Complete 7 Day Detox Program’.
    3. A parcel in the mail containing my book ‘The Uncook Book- The Essential Guide to a Raw Food Lifestyle’, and a collection of Tanya’s dehydrated snacks- BBQ Spiced Activated Nuts, Detox Dust Activated Seeds, Cheezy Kale Chips, Coconut Chips and Coconut Jerky.

    IIN bonus gift from Tanya Maher


    To qualify for all the bonuses, call my friends at IIN on (877) 733-1628 for US or +1 (212) 730-5433 for International and be sure to mention my name (Tanya Maher). Ask them if you can start on May 7th and I’ll be in touch with the rest!



    Wow that wasn’t a long post at all. Haha.


    Love you!


    Register for IIN Freebies

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    My best tip for improving your digestion

    tanya maher on digestion

    If your digestion isn’t in order, the chances are you also experience at least two of these symptoms:



    -Heart burn or indigestion

    -Food allergies


    -Skin breakouts

    -Skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, acne or psoriasis 

    -Weight gains

    -Constipation or loose stools

    -Flatulence or belching

    -Parasites or Candida

    -Weak nails and hair


    Poor digestion is awful and sadly unless something is done about it, it may only get worse with time.


    Have you ever said...

    “I used to be able to eat anything” or 

    “I never had to exercise to stay in shape” or

    “My baby weight never went away” or

    “My digestion is not what it used to be”?


    [Personally, I’m guilty of all the above, especially when I have the below reference taken circa 2013.]

    tanya maher's body on raw food


    If you want something done about this digestion of yours (btw it’s not the same as metabolism- you can eliminate quickly and stay slim but it still doesn’t mean that you’re making the most out of your food and assimilating the goodness), the first thing you must do is begin eating consciously.

    Easier said than done? 

    Nope, it’s very very easy to do. Continue reading for my top tip that works every single time and is actually fun...

    But first I’d like to paint you a picture of what happens when you DON’T eat consciously.


    Tanya's pantry for The Uncook Book


    I bet there’s been a time that you’ve taken your sandwich to your desk and swallowed it so fast, you weren’t sure if you even tasted it, let alone felt any satisfaction. 

    You certainly were a bit annoyed at yourself for spending money on yet another lunch you don’t remember eating. 

    I mean- how did it disappear from your plate? Wait, maybe someone played a trick on you and you haven’t even taken a bite! Mmmm maybe not.

    Suddenly you feel bloated. Dissatisfied, irritated and bloated. Awesome combo.


    What actually happened when you swallowed that sandwich is that it got dumped into your stomach without any warning, without the host having a chance to get the space ready for it, in fact it squashed the host unconscious, confused the whole digestive system so it stopped operating altogether. Your body’s alarm went off to send signals of there being something wrong and the only way it knew to communicate that was by making you bloat.


    You didn’t respond to those cries so it gave you a headache.

    You blocked out the headache with a painkiller so it gave you visible red patches on your neck and breakouts on your chin.

    You covered them up with concealer so it gave you extra love handles you couldn’t cover up.

    You told yourself that next time you’ll just skip lunch to which you immediately felt an inflammation response.

    Now your joints hurt.

    WTF? Surely that’s got nothing to do with a sandwich!

    And why do you feel so tired when food is supposed to give you energy?


    Now let’s rewind for a moment and try that again...

    Holy Kale & Avocado from Tanya's raw food London cafe

    You unwrap your sandwich, feeling good within yourself that you got up to go out and buy it, feeling proud that you got at least a little movement into your day.

    You start to breathe deeper with that thought of gratitude.

    In turn you begin to relax and even get a whiff of the deliciousness you’re about to enjoy.

    You begin to salivate.

    You take a small bite and you chew chew chew.

    Your brain then sends the message to your stomach (the host) that food is coming so it starts to tidy up and pump out the welcoming mat (hydrochloride acid).

    The food slides down with joy, lands not in a dry sad desert but a fun pool of digestive juices.

    It breaks down effortlessly, without the need for your body to spend any more precious energy, so you feel like you have lots of energy to actually do some work.

    Minerals, nutrients and vitamins then spark into fireworks that go straight to the cells which need them most, while the remains take a different route towards easy elimination.

    No arguments, no confusion, no need for setting off any alarms, everyone knows their role and they get on with doing their thing so you can get on with doing your thing.


    tanya maher the uncook book


    So next time you’d like scene #2 instead, next time you’d prefer to feel alive, energised, relaxed, bloat free and happy within yourself for eating consciously, try this tip:

    Imagine that while you’re eating that sandwich, a hidden camera is projecting your every move onto a National News channel! Your face is on everyone’s screen for millions to watch you eat. 

    The Royal family watch the news too, you know :)


    Royal family watching you eat on the news


    P.S. I touch on the topic of digestion and often discuss it in depth at every single one of my workshops. You can bet that I'll be covering this topic in the next classes 'Easy raw lunches that kids will love' and 'How to eat for beautiful skin'. All classes can be booked via this link: https://tanyasliving.com/collections/workshops-and-events

    Back to [Nutrition] School + How IIN's Health Coach Course actually works

    Back to [Nutrition] School + How IIN's Health Coach Course actually works

    You already know just how highly I rate The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), you wish you could attend it too, but you have no clue as to how you will ever get the opportunity to travel to New York, find the time to do the homework or the funds to afford this prestigious and popular course.

    So, I wanted to explain how this course works.


    Yes, it’s based in NYC.

    No, you don’t have to travel there.

    It’s all online, you can download lectures to your iPhone or iPad and watch/listen to them while offline. I even watched the lectures while flying from London to NZ!


    Yes, it takes a year of commitment.

    No, you don’t need to quit your job or get childcare or give up your free time!

    The classes only take approx 5 hours/ week and they are sooooo interesting, that if your friends are into improving their health at all, they would LOVE to watch some the videos with you on holiday, so you don’t fall behind. I watched Deepak Chopra on the IIN stage with my sister and my mum in Ecuador :)


    Yes, the certification makes you a Qualified Health Coach.

    No, the course isn’t only for those looking to change their career.

    The biggest part of the training is focused on nutrition and the business building bits are useful for ANY career you’re in!


    Yes, the classes are all about educating you in ultimate health and nutrition.

    No, they don’t promote any one diet!

    In fact, the best thing I loved about IIN is their focus on bio-individuality. They would invite a speaker to talk about the adverse effects of the Atkins diet and there’d also be a speaker from the Atkins Institute explaining about the purpose of such a diet.


    Yes, like with any reputable course- an investment is required.

    No it’s not not required all upfront.

    You can pay in instalments and because we are friends, I can pass on up to US $1,500 saving to you as the IIN Ambassador. Sadly I’m not allowed to post prices online because there are tiers of prices and because the IIN team probs think they can sell this course better than I can when you call to speak to them, hahaha. Well, don’t be afraid of getting in contact because you might get a sales pitch, they are really VERY nice genuine people there and they are just so passionate about what IIN has to offer (plus I wholeheartedly support anything they have to say, no other course covers what they cover!).


    Yes, you can withdraw at the beginning of the program.

    No, you don’t need to commit to anything or even talk to anyone till you sample a FREE class for yourself!

    Sign up here to watch>>


    Inside the Sample Class you’ll learn:

    What a Health Coach does and how they help people make lasting changes to their health and lifestyles

    What to expect as a student at IIN as you train to become a Health Coach

    About primary foods & bio-individuality - two core concepts of the program - and why they’re important in creating healthier, happier lives

    And how IIN is leading the way to a healthcare revolution, plus the incredible activities you can engage in when you enroll at the school!


    Yes, I totally think you should start with the Back to School class kicking off this September on the 18th!

    But, here are other options incase you need to plan your year with more notice...



    May 2018 – Monday, May 7th

    July 2018 – Monday, July 16th

    September 2018 – Monday, September 17th

    November 2018 – Monday, November 12th


    If you’re ready to join now, call an enrollment counsellor on (877) 733-1628 for US or +1 (212) 730-5433 for International and be sure to mention my name (Tanya Maher) to get your tuition savings.


    Want to learn more about the program? Check out the FREE sample class I mentioned earlier >>

    Happy Everything,


    Master of The Month | Joshua Rosenthal | Zucchini Pesto Pasta Recipe

    Master of The Month | Joshua Rosenthal | Zucchini Pesto Pasta Recipe

    Joshua Rosenthal is my amazing teacher from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is a pioneer and visionary in holistic health and wellness. He holds a Master’s of Science in Education and has over 30 years of experience in health and wellness including creation of the concept of Health Coach.

    Long before the benefits of proper nutrition and lifestyle were mainstream, Joshua's fascination with personal growth and development led him to experiment with simple changes to his own diet and lifestyle. Through this process, he realised that food changes everything. He knew that if he could spread this message, he would make the world a healthier and happier place. With this mission in mind, Joshua founded the Institute for Integrative Nutrition 25 years ago. IIN started with a small group of students in a rented kitchen in New York City and has grown into an online global phenomenon with over 60,000 students and graduates from over 120 countries. His vision and leadership have empowered people to reach their personal and professional goals, and continue to exponentially improve the landscape of the health and wellness industry around the world.

    That's a pretty big deal and I couldn't be more excited to be getting to know him on a more personal level through our interview.

    Meet our November's Master of the Month...

    joshua rosenthal


    What I eat really depends on how I feel and what season of the year it is. Over time, I’ve learned to really listen and tune in with what my body is craving.  In the morning though, I always start my day with a big glass of water with lemon and a green juice or smoothie.  The next time I’m hungry, I’ll sit down to a big raw kale salad and dinner is usually another plant based dish.  I work pretty much all day long because I’m very involved with each department at IIN.  It’s important to me that they feel supported, so I’m lucky that my partner, Alex is an absolutely amazing cook.  I take breaks so we can eat every meal together.


    Alex, my family, and Integrative Nutrition – its mission, our students, and graduates.  I want to stay healthy so I can be the best version of myself in every aspect of my life.


    I love chocolate, but I don’t consider it a weakness.  When you start considering foods as weaknesses it creates a dependency on utilizing them as a crutch or reward.  Just like we teach bio-individuality in our program, in my book no food is “good” or “bad”, it’s all about learning what works for you and how to treat yourself when your body is truly craving it.


    Improving your diet is… learn how to understand where your cravings are coming from, it’s usually because something else is missing in your life.

    Staying healthy while travelling is… really important, but it’s also important to enjoy what other cultures have to offer. I always look to eat what is fresh and local.

    Detoxing is… A food that feels detoxifying to me may feel toxic to someone else.


    That IIN’s Health Coach Training Program changed their life and the lives of their families and communities.


    As someone who had an impact on the world and helped others.


    Kitchen: Juicer. Alex and I love our morning juices!

    Garden: the kale, there are so many nutrients that have positive effects on my mind, body, and soul, I could never give it up.

    Bookshelf: my book, Integrative Nutrition Feed your Hunger for Health & Happiness, it’s just something I’m really proud of.


    To be honest, the best dinner party I can imagine would have all of the people I love most in my life.  When I’m around those people is when I feel most fulfilled, happy, and content.  There’s nothing quite like it.  Alex and I would serve a table of food cooked with love – everything from raw salads with veggies from the garden to grass fed meat bought at the local farm and whole ancient grains.  I would want to make sure there was something for everyone!


    I believe that moving towards a more plant based diet can make people more balanced and vibrant. I tend to eat a primarily plant based diet. However, it’s important for people to keep bio-individuality in mind.  What works for me and what works for you may not work for someone else.  I recommend experimenting with different types of protein and various foods to see how you feel and fulfill your dietary needs based on what you learn and understand that what your body needs day to day can change, and that’s okay!


    Our Master of The Month shares his favourite recipe…

    Prep time: 10 minutes
    Cook time: 15 minutes
    Serves 2

    zucchini pasta with pesto by Joshua Rosenthal

    3 large zucchini/ courgette

    2 bunches basil

    1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

    Juice of 1 lemon

    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    1 tbsp sea salt, or to taste

    Black pepper, to taste


    · Wash, pat dry, and trim zucchini ends. Create noodles using a spiralizer tool.

    · Option: Sauté your “noodles” in olive oil over medium-high heat for 4-6 minutes. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

    · Wash and dry basil and add to blender with pine nuts, lemon, extra virgin olive oil, and salt.

    · Blend until smooth, adding more olive oil and/or water as needed.

    · Toss zucchini noodles with pesto


    For more on Joshua, his book, the IIN health coach program and to sample a free class, go here>>